Submitted by Rachel R on Tue, 01/10/2017 - 9:05am
Tired of debt collection calls?
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The holidays are behind you and you’re well into the new year – now is a good time to address your debt if you’re being hassled by debt collectors. In some cases, debt collection tactics can get nasty and some collection firms don’t obey the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). Even if the debt collectors are following the law, it can still be a hassle that makes your life hard. Bankruptcy can help.
Legal Limits on Debt Collectors
Creditors and debt collectors are not supposed to call before 8 am or after 9 pm. Debt collectors can call you at home, on your cell phone or at work. However, if you tell them not to call you at work, they must stop. Debt collectors are also not allowed to call repeatedly, one call after another. That is in violation of the FDCPA. Typically, more than one call a day would be considered harassment.
Most collection departments at reputable creditors conduct themselves in accordance with federal law. Private debt collections firms are often the ones that step outside the bounds and don’t play by the rules. The worst offenders are usually those that purchase debt at a deep discount and are collecting for significant profit. But that doesn’t mean a creditor won’t break the law either.
How to Stop Debt Collectors
If you’re being called at work, that’s the easiest thing to stop. Tell any debt collectors you’re not allowed to get that kind of call at work and they must stop. You can also force debt collectors to stop calling you at home or on your cell phone but you must put the request in writing. Tell the debt collector you want their address and send them a letter spelling out your request in clear language.
Tell them you don’t want to be contacted via phone anymore. That leaves them just with good old fashioned threatening letters. However, if you cut off their means of contacting you by phone, there’s a chance the debt collectors might up their game and file a lawsuit against you to try and collect as much as they can. When there’s no communication, creditors may go to extremes.
Put an End to Debt Collections for Good
You can stop all debt collector contact aside from written communication but that doesn’t make your debt go away. Debt collectors can sue you for a judgment and then try and attach a lien to your assets. Fortunately, North Carolina doesn’t allow most debt collectors to garnish wages but this can happen for tax debts and student loans.
The two ways to end debt collections are to pay the debt or to get rid of the debt. If you can work out a payment arrangement, that can stop the debt collectors. If you make more money or cut back on expenses, maybe then you can afford to pay the debt. Alternately, you can consider Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a way to get rid of your debt.
Which Debts Chapter 7 Can Extinguish
If you have maxed out credit cards and medical bills you can’t afford, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help. If you qualify for Chapter 7, these debts can be discharged within just a few months. In some cases, even past-due income taxes can be discharged if you filed your returns on time and the debt has been outstanding longer than two years prior to filing bankruptcy.
Student loans will usually survive a filing but in rare cases, by filing an additional motion, you might be able to get some relief there too. If you’re behind on secured debt like a mortgage or car loan, Chapter 7 can temporarily stop a repossession or foreclosure, but it isn’t a permanent solution for these debts. However, wiping out other debt might make it easier to pay these bills.
To find out more about putting an end to debt collection using Chapter 7 bankruptcy, contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt. Call +1-919-646-2654 now for a free North Carolina bankruptcy consultation at one of our convenient locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilson, Greensboro, Garner or Wilmington.
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